WATER is a basic nutrient your body needs for good health and athletic performance. Despite your age or the length of your swim practice, you need to stay hydrated! Drink enough fluid before, during, and after each swim workout.
Consuming enough water is the swimmer's responsibility.
During the day:
- Drink water throughout the day. Keep a bottle of water or cup with you at all times.
- When you are thirsty, drink.
- Stop at water fountains and take a few sips.
- Limit sports drinks to during or after practice.
- Consume fresh fruits and vegetables which have high water content.
- Drink 100% fruit and/or vegetable juices diluted (mixed) with water.
During swim practice:
- Keep a water bottle by the side of the pool, easy to reach.
- Drink a couple sips of fluid at least every 10 minutes or each time you are at the wall.
- If you want to use a sports drink, Coach Steven recommends mixing half water with half sports drink.
- Think of rehydrating after practice as part of your warm down.
- Your practice does not end until you have helped your body recover from the workout by drinking plenty of fluids.
- To be strong at your next practice, you need to drink plenty of fluids within 45 minutes after each practice.
- Whatever you don't drink during practice, drink on the way home.
- Milk is a good recovery drink.
- As an athlete, you need to take responsibility for keeping your body in the best physical condition possible. An easy way to determine whether you are drinking enough water is to notice the color of your urine (yes, PEE). If it is very dark yellowish, you need to drink more water. The color should be light yellowish to clear in color.
- Avoid caffeine. It contributes to fluid loss, can cause irritability and can cover up fatigue (tiredness). Begin reading labels on your food and drinks: kids shouldn't consume more than about 100mg of caffeine each day.
- Limit (or even AVOID) sodas. Sodas can make you feel bloated, lead to weight problems, and may cause many other serious medical conditions.
Below are some informative articles from USA Swimming if you want more information about hydration.
Fluid for Thought
Keys to Hydration
Top Questions on Nutrition and Swimming